Greetings from the President
Hello Everyone, The milder weather seems to be holding on for the most part. We have had a couple of nice snows and some rain that will help a little with the ground moisture. In Iowa, with the deep fertile top soil, a dry year is much better than a wet year for honey production. Soil types are obviously different in other areas of the state and areas with sandy soil, such as south of Iowa City and the Muscatine area probably suffers more in the dry times. Dry weather and heat have brought on the best honey flows in my area anyway.
I tip up the top box of my one Iowa colony on these nice sunny days and it is very light and the cluster is shrinking. Even on the very warm days the bees are not touching the syrup in the feeder and they are not interested in the pollen patty, so I’m thinking they are probably Queenless. So far I haven’t taken the time to light a smoker and actually check for the brood because there is really nothing I can do except wait till spring.
I started having second thoughts about a question and answer section because many beekeeping questions require some fairly complex answers. So many variables can affect the answering process. Different attitudes and management schemes need to be considered as well as weather conditions, genetics of queens, location of the colony and the list of variables could go on and on. I didn’t receive any comments or disagreements on last month’s answers but also didn’t receive any questions for this month. I guess I’m off the hook for this month but I am still willing to give each question my best shot. You can E-mail questions to email@example.com in the subject line - Buzz Questions and Answers.
Bob Wolff mentioned to me at the last board meeting that he wanted to Issue a challenge to see which Regional Iowa Bee Club could have the most State Fair apiary class entries this year. Hopefully more information on the challenge will be out soon. Pat and I are going to offer a three frame nuc to each observation hive entry that is accepted up to the point the space is filled. I felt the need to offer this because it is tough on a hive to pull the queen. This nuc will give the entrant an option to re-queen the queenless hive. I would like to come up with some more incentives that could be offered to get more people interested. Andy Joseph suggested possibly giving one of the stainless steel 100th anniversary hive tools to each person who has an entry, or possibly a minimum of 3, or even 5 entries. It’s still in the planning stage so far but we will keep working on it. That “Questions” email address can be used for suggestions if any of you come up with any brilliant ideas. Actually they don’t even have to be brilliant. I’m happy to listen to any suggestions or ideas. Pat has been busy getting the field day lined up for June 16th so plan ahead and put that date on your calendar. There will be an advanced beekeeping class Friday evening, the day before the field day. We’ll try to have plenty of information for both the beginner and the more seasonal beekeeper. We are planning some interesting activities for the afternoon (bee beard) and even hope to get some media attention. Spring is coming so be ready!
IHPA Committee Chairs
Here is a list of committee chairs, so if you see a committee you are interested in contact the chairperson and participate. Chairs listed below.
Youth Mentoring Chair
100th Anniversary of IHPA Chair
State Fair Sales Booth Chair
Annual Meeting & Field Day Chair
Honey Queen Chair
Bee Emergency Chair